Litchfield Park Juniors provides this Parents page to help you navigate the complexities of club volleyball. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via the contact form below.
It’s all about the team
Volleyball is one of the most team-oriented sports out there. One player can’t win the match on their own, so learning to put faith in your teammates and giving the best effort possible will ensure the most success.
Focus on the fundamentals
Volleyball takes time to learn, so breaking down the fundamentals is key. Take the time to revisit the fundamentals and build a strong foundation. Even NCAA Division 1 athletes break down the fundamentals on their own and at practice.
Shake it off!
Mistakes happen all the time in volleyball. When they happen, shake them off and focus on improving for the next time. Learn from mistakes by asking your coach how to correct them and support your teammates by cheering for them when they make mistakes.
Communication is key
Communication and enthusiasm go a long way in volleyball. Speak loud and clear with your teammates and coaches to help your team succeed. Also, keep a high energy level and cheer on your teammates when you are on the court and on the bench.
Pick a program that suits your child
Find a program that suits your child’s playing style and commitment level, along with your commitment level as a parent. Research the volleyball programs in your area and understand what is expected before signing up.
Get to know your child’s coach
The ideal coach is accessible, honest, and a good role model for your child. Understand his or her views on playing time, development, and discipline, and let him or her know what your child needs to improve as a player. The key is open, honest communication.
Be your child’s biggest fan
At practices and games, allow the coaches and referees to do their jobs and focus on being your child’s biggest fan. Shouting instructions from the sidelines can confuse and frustrate young players and their coaches. Instead, encourage your child to have fun and be a good teammate.
Social development is part of the game
Volleyball teams are built on trust and communication. Your child will learn to interact with their teammates, coaches, and referees and will build social skills that apply beyond the court. Sports are a great way for your child to meet new people and make friends.
Getting to know the fundamentals of volleyball is a great place to start for new players and parents.
Each team is allowed three hits to get the ball over the net to the opposing team’s side. The three basic hits are a pass, set, and spike. Passes and sets are used to pass the ball to another teammate while a spike is used to get.
Rotation and substitution
When the team that received the serve scores a point, the team’s players rotate one position clockwise. Teams can substitute players in and out of the match, where the total number of substitutions for each team is limited but the timing of the subs is not.
At the net
In general, touching any part of the net with anything besides the ball or a player’s hair is a violation that results in the opposing team receiving a point. Players can reach above the net without touching it to play the ball. A ball that touches the net can still be played.
Out of bounds
A ball that lands out of bounds results in a point for the team that did not touch it last. Players are allowed to run out of bounds to hit the ball back into play.
Each rally begins with a serve from the team that won the last point. The serving player must stay behind the back line and use an underhand or overhand approach to hit the ball over the net and in bounds on the opposing team’s side.
Playing the ball
The ball can be played with any part of a player’s body, but cannot be held, thrown or pushed. Players most often direct the ball using their hands and forearms.
Volleyball positions vary based on age, style of play and competitive level. It’s generally encouraged for younger players to try all the positions before focusing in on one or two of their favorites. In the indoor game, there are three “front row players” and three “back row players” during each point. Players rotate one position clockwise after winning a point that the opposing team served.
There are three main hitting positions: left, right, and middle. Left and right hitters pass, attack, and block balls for their team.
These players often play in the front right or back right position and are normally the first player to serve. Their job is to set the ball for the hitters to attack it.
These players play in the center position of the front row and focus on blocking and spiking the ball.
This player wears a different color jersey than his or her teammates and is restricted to playing in the back row only. Liberos are tasked with receiving the serve, passing it to the setter, and digging incoming attacks.
Volleyball requires very little gear to play, but your child will need a few things before he or she hits the court.
While most lightweight tennis shoes will do the trick, volleyball-specific shoes have a good grip to help your child move laterally across the court and absorb impact from jumping.
Volleyball players frequently slide across the court on their knees. A good pair of knee pads will save your child from painful abrasions.
Athletes with long hair should use a headband, hair-tie, or scrunchy to make a ponytail that will keep your child’s hair out of his or her face during gameplay.
Staying hydrated is crucial to succeeding in any sport – especially volleyball! Your child will be running and jumping for over an hour, keep water nearby.
A standard volleyball is between 25.5 and 26.5 inches in circumference and weighs between 9.2 to 9.9 ounces. Indoor volleyballs are made of leather and slightly heavier than beach volleyballs. Beach balls are softer, bigger, and lighter.
It’s a good idea to research the volleyball programs available to your child before signing him or her up to play. Each program differs in its structure, cost, and commitment level.